The Early Adopter Tax (an open letter to Apple, Inc.)

Dear Apple,

I’m not happy.

Not at all.

Thanks for dropping the price $200 on my phone… 27 days after I bought it. Yes, I realize that this is long after your return policy applies, by a whole 13 days. Still… two hundred dollars?! One word: ouch.

Some people are looking for a refund. Some people want iTunes Music Store credits. I really don’t agree with either proposal, because to a certain extent I agree with those who said that the phone was worth it when I paid for it; clearly it still is now. These things are essentially cash out of pocket for you and it’s hard for me to condone penalizing you solely for selling something at a price that the market will bear. However, the magnitude of the price drop suggests that I was, perhaps, being gouged. That, precisely, is why I’m not happy.

What I propose to you is this: give the early adopters free AppleCare on our pre-September 5th iPhones. It doesn’t cost any real money up front, and won’t cost anything for the majority of your iPhone customers (unless there’s something you aren’t telling us, of course). It’s certainly a lot cheaper than cash refunds, and seems likely to be less cost than the equivalent number of iTMS credits.

So, how about it, Apple? Are you willing to make a small concession to us, your faithful fans? You don’t have to admit you sold us something at a grossly inflated price. Just tell us you care. You can’t make everybody happy, but I suspect that a lot of us would accept this token of goodwill.

Sincerely,

Scott R.

UPDATE: Steve Jobs posted an open letter of his own today. I’ll cut to the chase:

Therefore, we have decided to offer every iPhone customer who purchased an iPhone from either Apple or AT&T, and who is not receiving a rebate or any other consideration, a $100 store credit towards the purchase of any product at an Apple Retail Store or the Apple Online Store. Details are still being worked out and will be posted on Apple’s website next week. Stay tuned.

I feel a little better. I probably will get AppleCare for the phone, anyway.

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